We’re up to year #3 in Peru – 2011. We arrived back from furlough in early March and hit the ground running. We felt like 2011 was a productive year. We knew Spanish much better, we knew our ministry roles, and we knew our way around. We didn’t travel in 2011, but rather stuck close to home and made the work here our priority.
–I decided to add some things to the school this year. The first addition was field trips – something the kids had never really done before. We went to visit a local dairy farm in 2010, but that was all we were able to do. Our first field trip of 2011 was to the beach, about 20 minutes away. I came up with a science scavenger hunt list and we spent the morning looking for “science stuff” and then had a sand castle building competition.
–We still had plywood on the floors in our house, but thanks to your help, we were finally able to tile our kitchen floor in April. Brian did it himself (he’s become quit the pro at tiling!) and it turned out so nice. It was so much more convenient having tile in the kitchen than plywood that couldn’t get wet, was never really clean, and splintered easily!
–One of the highlights of 2011 was getting new furniture for my little school. In 2010 (something I forgot last post!), Brian put up a dividing wall in the school so I could have two classrooms instead of just one large room. Part of the school is used for storage for other ministries, so he gave them their own outside entrance and walled it off. In August of 2010, we painted the new walls. Again, thanks to your help, we were able to purchase new desks, chairs, and tables for the kids. They had been working on old picnic tables, uncomfortable benches, and desks that weren’t wide enough to hold their supplies. We found cute little tables for the smaller girls with matching, comfy chairs. We bought office chairs for the older kids and nice desks, with locking drawers. I was even able to get my own desk and chair. The new walls, paint job, and furniture honestly made the school much more comfortable, inviting, and fun to be in.
–Along with adding field trips, I added “extra” classes on Fridays. They included art, gym, and music, and thankfully, a few of my friends chipped in to help teach these classes occasionally. A vsitor was gracious enough to offer to teach my girls a few ballet moves one week! The girls were ecstatic – they had been talking about ballet and wishing for lessons for over a year. It was a blast watching them learn just a few basic ballet moves.
–When we got back from furlough, Brian had a lot of work to do on campus. He spent the first few months just trying to catch up on maintenance as well as working on new projects. He did electricity, plumbing, some construction, and he drew up plans for some buildings in Iquitos, just to name a few of his projects.
—July = busiest month of the year. We hosted a teenage girl, Rebekah, for the entire month. She helped me extensively in the school, made a trip to Iquitos, and coerced me into singing a duet with her for Conoce Al IBYM. We loved having her in our home and she was a huge help in the school.
Also in July, a team visited from North Carolina and gave us the best gift ever: the installation of our laminate floor!
Elena did not seriously crawl until this floor went down. She refused to be on her hands and knees on the plywood. So after this floor was installed, she just took off! It was wonderful – and still is amazing – to have this floor.
–Mota was given to us in August by a lady from our little town who owns a bunch of cows and walks them by our house daily so they can graze in the pasture next to our property. We affectionately call her “the cow lady”.. mostly because we can’t pronounce her name (it’s not just us, though – our Peruvian friends have a hard time with her name!). In light of our big move coming up next month, we actually returned Mota to the cow lady last week. She was a good little dog, but I’m sure she’ll be happier chasing cows than she was here with us.
–This is Diana, my little girl who has dyslexia. During August, I had two full weeks where I was able to work just with her since my other students were out of town. We did lots of work with her ABC’s and this is her showing off her 3D artwork of every letter of the alphabet.
–Brian had to completely unplug the entire sewage system here on campus in September. Twice. One of the times he did it was during a special event here on campus so he had to work basically alone. If you’ve ever thought maintenance isn’t “true ministry.” think about this: Brian was able to do this very important (though not glamorous) job while everyone else was able to continue doing “ministry” without a hitch in their day. If he hadn’t been there, the mess would’ve ruined everything instead of just being a minor inconvenience for most. I have to say, I was very proud of my husband for doing this job and making it possible for everyone else to continue doing theirs.
—Elena turned 1 in September! I worked with a friend and threw her a very typical, ladybug-themed, Peruvian birthday party. There are three important events in a Peruvian girl’s life: her 15th birthday, her wedding day, and her 1st birthday. There are a lot of expectations on a 1st birthday party here! It was much larger and more elaborate than anything I’ve ever done before, so I was thankful for Elsa who helped me out or it would never have happened! I made something like five batches of brownies, a ton of sugar cookies, and a ladybug shaped cake. Elsa made decorations, prize boxes, games, and emceed the whole afternoon. The kids got their faces painted, played games, ate a ton of food, and broke a piñata. Crazy day!
–Every year in November, IBYM does a special Thanksgiving program. For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of being in charge of this evening. The program in 2011 was by far my favorite. It was a “Celebration of Thanksgiving.”
Throughout the evening, each person in attendance had to write down one thing they were thankful for and come up and share it with everyone. Then, they stuck their piece of paper inside of the word “Gracias.”
By the time the evening was done, “GRACIAS” was filled up with everything we were thankful for that year.
We had a group visit from the States over Christmas and they put on a wonderful Christmas party for all the missionary kids here:
And we celebrated Elena’s 2nd Christmas, this time in the heat of summer.
- Brian’s life this year really revolved around general maintenance since the big building projects were done between 2009 and 2010. He did work on improving the IBYM afternoon work hours. He had a new team to work with and get used to. He drew up quite a few different plans for projects here on campus, in Iquitos, and for people outside of BCM.
- As you can probably see, a lot went on in the school this year. I taught my five students plus took care of Elena who gradually got more and more mobile as the year progressed, making teaching much more difficult! It was a complicated year with figuring out how to work with a dyslexic student, advance my over-achiever student, help one student work independently, and teach English to one who didn’t know any. I also did more writing for other ministries, including the Bible lessons for summer camps 2012.
Sorry these posts are so long ~ it’s hard to condense a year of happenings into a short, concise blog post! I do hope this is giving you a glimpse into our life here. I know it’s helping us remember all the great things that have happened and it’s neat to see how much has changed in just four short years.
Next week we’ll cover our final year in Peru – this year, 2012!